Board of Directors

Melissa Cardelli

Melissa is the President of the Board of Directors. She has been the Department Chair and professor for Early Childhood Education at Bristol Community College since 2004. She has over twenty-five years experience working with children as a teacher, family advocate, and coordinator of Early Head Start. She has received a BA in Sociology, Master of Science in parent education and support, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S) in early childhood education.

Cheryl Feeney

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”

Cheryl is the Vice President on the Board of Directors with a  passion for helping all children reach their potential. She is an excited and proud retired teacher from the Fall River Community. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bridgewater State College and completed her graduate work at Bridgewater State University and Lesley University. Before retiring, she taught for 30 years as a first and second grade teacher, literacy coordinator, and a reading interventionist.

Donalda A. Silva

Donalda is a founding member of the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River. Mrs. Silva has a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston University and holds certifications in School Social Work/Adjustment Counseling (K-12) and Guidance Counseling (5-12). Donalda Silva worked as a diversity and equity specialist at “The Education Alliance, at Brown University” for ten years, examining the programmatic needs of school systems serving culturally and linguistically diverse learners. She offered professional development and technical help in the area of second language learning methodologies and literacy of ELL students. She has given numerous presentations to school districts, as well as at state and national conferences, on topics such as diversity, second language acquisition, culturally sensitive differentiated instruction, and parent/school collaboration.

She is currently the coordinator of the Family and Community Resource Center at Atlantis 

Barbara L. Terrio

Barbara has been on the Board of Directors since 2018. A lifelong Fall River resident, Barbara is married, has one son and two grandchildren. Barbara started her career as a Social Worker for ten years before going into the field of Education. She started with teaching grades three to five, advanced her education, and was appointed as Principal of the Leontine Lincoln Elementary School from which she retired.

Jay Chatterson

Jay is a retired professional educator. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Education (Formerly Industrial Arts) with a minor in Technical Theatre. He holds a Masters Degree in Occupational Education Administration with 30 credits beyond. In 1986 he was the founder of the Old Colony & Fall River Railroad Museum and has served as its President since then. All though he is in his first year serving on the board of the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River he served 14 years on the board of The Friends of Heritage Park and served one year as President. He also served on the board of the Fall River Fire Museum for 12 years and was the Vice President. Jay has been active in the community helping for many years with Fall River Celebrates America, the Thomas Guinta Memorial road race, and is an active member of the Fall River Elks Lodge 118.

Michelle Almeida

Michelle is the Treasurer on the Board of Directors and has been for some time. She is a Certified Public Accountant with a Masters in Tax.  She is a seasoned tax and accounting professional currently working as Senior Director of Tax at Virgin Pulse Inc in Providence, RI.

Marion L. Shaker

Marion has been a member on the Board of Directors since 2021. She loves being a part of a great group advancing the betterment of children in our area. Marion has a BA in English and Education and an MS in Educational Psychology and Gifted Education. She is married with two children and seven grandchildren.

Odete Amarelo

Odete is a proud member of the Board of Directors. She is an educator with a tremendous passion for education. She has taught at various institutions such as Bristol Community College, where she taught Portuguese.